CHAT Staff’s Favorite Holiday Traditions


Marissa Levinson, Opinions Editor

Rebecca Lim, Editor-in-Chief: “I feel like all of my favorite traditions have to do with food, and that goes for Winter too! Every holiday season, at least once, my immediate family and I gather around our dining table and make hundreds of homemade dumplings (mandu in Korean). Each year, I try to improve my dumpling wrapping skills, but deep down I know my mom will always have me beat. We set some dumplings apart to steam and eat fresh the day of, and we freeze the rest so they can last us until the Korean New Year (seollal)!”

Daniel Morrison, Copy Editor: My favorite holiday tradition is fully decorating my house with my mom. We also bake Christmas cookies and cake. But the best tradition has to be sleeping.

Marissa Levinson, Opinions Editor: “My favorite holiday traditions all involve spending time with family, which always puts a smile on my face. I love baking delicious desserts with my mom, as well as lighting the candles on the menorah for Hanukkah.”

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor: “I love the holiday season because it’s the one time each year when my entire family can come together. We spend the entire week before Christmas wrapping gifts for one another, preparing food for our big Christmas dinner, or just catching up with each other. The clothes, music, and decorations just make the season so much brighter—definitely one of my favorite times of the year!”

Rebekah Barrera, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor: “I love everything about the Christmas season, but my favorite tradition is having this giant celebration with all my cousins on Christmas Eve, also known as Nochebuena! Our festivities change every year but the night always includes dressing up nicely, eating lots of (mostly Filipino) food, and staying up until midnight on Christmas Day to open gifts. It’s always super uplifting and one of the only times that all the cousins get to see each other.”

Alexandria Williams, Staff Writer: “My favorite Holiday tradition is watching Christmas movies with my family and also cooking Christmas dinner.”

Isabella Cely, Staff Writer: “My favorite holiday tradition has to be decorating the nativity scene every year. Each year my family gets more creative, and it’s so much fun to do in preparation for Christmas.”

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor: “My favorite tradition is making the traditional Venezuelan holiday dish, hallacas. We spend a whole week gathering materials, and spend an entire day assembling, wrapping them  in plantain leaves, and storing for later. My entire family pitches in, making the process much more fun.” 

Iris Lee, Student Life Editor: “Although I don’t really have any specific holiday traditions, I love the days leading up to winter break! I love making holiday cookies for my friends, and we often have a Christmas party together.”

Valerie Questell, News Editor: “My one and only holiday tradition is a classic one: Noche Buena. Held at my abuela’s house every year on the 24th, It’s a unifying time for my family and I, especially my little cousins. We cook a massive feast, including Cuban foods such as lechon asado, frijoles, and tostones. We then ‘wrap the night up’ with Flan: a famous Cuban dessert and supreme of my Abuela’s recipes, and hand each other our gifts once the clock hits midnight!”

Marko Barrera, Co-Managing Editor: “My favorite holiday tradition would be having a Christmas party on Christmas Eve with family and friends. We usually eat tons and tons of food and do gift exchanges among the kids and parents. My favorite part is how these parties go on until times like 2 or 3 am.”

Olivia Ramos, Staff Writer: “Something that I consider my favorite tradition to do for the holidays is watching a specific Christmas movie every year with my family on Christmas Eve. It’s something that I hold dear to my heart since it’s been something I would do every year. So, when the holiday season arrives I get excited to sit down and watch the same Christmas movie I watch every year. 

Anaum Hussain, Staff Writer: “The truth is, I don’t really celebrate any winter holidays! But I will admit that I like curling up in front of this fake fireplace in my room while reading a book or playing a game.” 

Lindsey Smith, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor: “One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking different kinds of desserts to pass to neighbors and for my family to enjoy too! The cookies we make include Swedish Spritz, chocolate chip, and Oatmeal. Usually while we bake we have lots of music on, including fun traditional Irish Christmas songs. My home is always filled with bright lights, a big star in the window, and lots of fun, festive decorative items to make the holiday season complete.”

Alexa Rivera, Staff Writer: “One of my favorite holiday traditions is wearing matching pajamas with my family on Christmas Eve. We all have so much fun taking pictures, opening presents, and creating memories.”

Samuel Morillo, Staff Writer: “One of my favorite holiday traditions is that every Christmas Eve, my family and I will go to the movie theater and watch a movie. We’ll then go back home and have a family gathering and dinner. This particular day is my favorite because we get to spend time with each other and, in a way, disconnect from the rest.”

Brielle Gari, Staff Writer: “My favorite holiday traditions are spending time with my family and making Colombian sweets like buñelos with hot cocoa. Those moments remind me of when I was younger with my grandparents, so the holidays hold a special place in my heart.”

Adam Abougendia, Sports Editor: “My favorite holiday tradition is the “holiday bowl”. Me and my family go out every christmas morning after we open gifts and play a big flag football game. Sports is what keeps my family together so things like that are great for us and it’s for sure my favorite tradition.”

Alexandra Kouropteva, Staff Writer: “My favorite holiday tradition is going skiing every winter break. My family always goes somewhere new every winter break and each time we go skiing. It’s one of my favorite things to do in general, it’s always so exciting and fun it’s just an awesome experience.”

Lucas Giron, Social Media Editor: “My favorite holiday tradition is taking a christmas photo with Santa with my siblings. We have been doing it every year since I was born and even though we are much older now, we still continue the tradition.” 

Mariana Ardila, Social Media Editor: “My favorite holiday traditions are novenas which is a Colombian tradition where we all gather together and pray, sing, eat cherish time together and enjoy the true meaning of christmas.”

Mackenzi Charles, Staff Writer: “ My favorite holiday tradition is definitely secret santa. With my soccer team we do it every year and it’s a very fun thing to do especially since every year I get a different person and it allows me to know my teammates’ interests more if I didn’t know them already .”

Samantha Miragliotta, Managing Editor: “My favorite holiday tradition is baking and making gingerbread houses with my family. It is a tradition that we do every year on Christmas Eve where we all get together and make the batter and frosting from scratch. It’s one of my favorite things to decorate the gingerbread house after assembling it piece by piece.”